Christian Revival (Part 4)

Duncan Campbell was one of the preachers in the revival of 1949 in the Hebrides, Scotland. His preaching was described like this in the book “When God came down” …

It was fearless and uncompromising. He exposed sin in its ugliness and dwelt at length on the consequences of living and dying without Christ. With a penetrating gaze on the congregation and perspiration streaming down his face, he set before men and women the way of life and the way of death. It was a solemn thought to him that the eternity of his hearers might turn on his faithfulness. He was standing before his fellow man in Christ’s stead and he could be neither perfunctory nor formal. His words were not just a repetition of accumulated ideas but the expression of his whole being. He gave the impression of preaching with his entire personality, not merely with his voice.

And

Mr. Campbell preached in Gaelic, a language I did not understand, but the atmosphere was so charged with the power of God that tears flowed and hearts were opened to the Spirit of God. It was not easy to leave the meeting.

Stop for a moment and think about such a worship service. A real spiritual meltdown … holy electricity flowing throughout the audience, captivating hearts and minds, bring souls under the influence of the Holy Spirit. One of my lecturers at Bible School’s mother lived in a town in the Hebrides. He said an earlier revival in that town that carried on for 50 years. Amazing! We have considered Hezekiah at length. Now I want to look at how what he did under the hand of God affected the nation.

1) Recapping about Hezekiah.

2Ch 29:1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.

He is on the throne of Judah. He was not like his wicked father … maybe that is why only his mother is mentioned. My neighbor told me late this afternoon that that his nephew was killed riding his motorbike when a light vehicle that was overloaded lost control and went from his lane, across another, the middle divider, across another lane and into him. He said this … “at least he was not like his father. He is in heaven.” That’s like Hezekiah and his father. What will be the record when it comes to you and your father and you and your child / children? Eternity is coming … don’t let your loved ones escape the glory of that Day!

2) Reviewing Hezekiah’s haste.

2Ch 29:3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them.

He was certainly a very quick worker. His heart was occupied by God. His passion was service which narrowed down for him meant “holiness unto the Lord”. Look how he cleaned up the country and mountains. He wanted a spiritual revival. He wanted his people, his kingdom to turn back to God. In the first month of the first year of his reign he not only got rid of all paganism, he re-opened the temple door for repairs so that the temple could resume its purpose as to the Levitical Priesthood and their ministry. We understand that many churches were closed due to the stricter levels of COVID lockdown … but … the temple’s closure was done by Hezekiah’s father (the previous king). It is always a sad day when a Church’s doors are closed because the leaders and congregation lose their way spiritually. When you consider the amount of Churches in England that have become mosques, dance halls, pubs, etc., we in our country must be extremely cautious. Many are becoming more and more secular and materialistic. Many people frequent flea markets, sports meetings, gambling joints instead of Church. The way towards keeping the Church open is having a passion for revival … and remember, revival is not manmade by high powered music, repetitive singing, so called miracles or imitation supernatural promises. A true spiritual revival is all of God and nothing of man! As communities of God’s people, our task is to practice genuine holiness and fervent prayer. What is your role in making certain the Church’s doors remain open?

(1) Pray for and elect the right leaders.

(2) Pray for the right pastor and support him in seeking revival.

(3) Insist that whatever happens in the Church happens according to the Word of God.

3) Reflect on Hezekiah’s instructions to the spiritual leaders.

2Ch 29:4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary.”

Apart from prophets, he called all the priests and all the Levites together. Look at the first part of his address … or should we say instruction to them.

(1) He cornered them in one place to get their full attention.

(2) He was earnest and serious … “Listen to me, Levites!

(3) He wanted holiness … consecration … dedication … separateness.

Purity is required when revival, the return of God, is sought! Within the temple was a sanctuary. The sanctuary was a place where worshippers could bring their sacrifices and voluntary offerings, but Hezekiah’s father Ahaz littered the holy place with pagan items of worship. The new king commanded it to be cleaned up immediately making it ready to start true worship to Yahweh. There are two things to consider here …

(a) The physical house of God known as the Church Building must always be used for holy purposes. Too many use the buildings for wrong things … even for multi-faith worship and prayer meetings. Surely God must be disgusted and extremely angry with that which is dedicated for His Glory and used for devilish purposes. It is the responsibility of the Pastor, Church Council and Congregation to ensure that the Church facilities are used for His purposes and glory alone!

(b) More important is the spiritual house of God.

1Co 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

If God is so serious about you being His temple because He lives within you by His Spirit, how are you looking after His temple? Think through your private life and ask yourself … “How am I as God’s temple doing in holiness, prayer and commitment?” Are you ready for God to use you as an instrument in revival?

O Lord, help me to be serious about the condition of me, Your Temple so I might live for Your Glory. Amen.